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Everything posted by Mahesh

  1. http://www.mahesh-music.com/listening-habits-for-a-musician/ As a songwriter (and you will see if you do listen to the recent music I've put out on my SoundCloud or Youtube), my songs are quite melancholic and well, 'singer-songwriter'y. But the music I'm listening to is not along the same lines. I listen to a lot of RnB, Neo-Soul, Blues, a bit of Jazz music and more. That's usually my playlist that would keep me going on a daily basis. Sure, I do indulge myself in singer-songwriters every now and then especially when new music is released or I find a new artist that I enjoy; and I do consider John Mayer and Damien Rice my biggest influences. But they aren't on my playlist unless there's new music. In fact, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder have been huge influences for me as a musician and yet, their traces may not be easily found in the music that I do. It's always interested me to understand how this works. And I realised that our listening ears and musician ears may not necessarily be the same thing. When you are listening to a song, you get drawn to the melodies at times, sometimes the rhythm or sometimes the groove. And the words sometimes catch your ear and you get instantly addicted to it. I highly suggest that you recognise and be mindful of these decisions your mind makes. When you listen to a song that you really like. Ask yourself why you really like it. Go through the melody, dance to the groove, sing out the chorus if that is catchy. Enjoy it differently each time and notice it. Learn and try to recognise where your enjoyment for a particular piece of music is coming from. Grow that quality in you. Grow that awareness in you and it WILL help you greatly in your own creative journey through music! It has been helping me lately and I've still a way to go! Some of the artists I've been enjoying lately!
  2. My favorite song of the week is also the last week's winner. Japanese Denim by Daniel Caeser. Smooth, catchy and very well produced!
  3. Deb, I'd to remove your referral links that you'd inserted. Just wanted to give you a heads up. Cheers, Mahesh
  4. Dance Week - Groove Spoon
  5. Here's something I did recently for a compilation EP that I put out a couple weeks ago. I love minimalism! In art as well as in personal life
  6. Thanks Rob! The silent song is a really cool concept indeed. It's good to see the venue lean take the side of the artist for a change!
  7. Hiya guys, I recently came back from a 2 week tour with a couple of gigs and a bit of vacation time too. I had a gig at one of the better known venues when I got to the country's capital. It was an absolute experience playing there. So the venue has this thing called "The Silent Song" which is pretty cool. Basically, at a certain part of the set, the staff of the venue ask the entire audience to stay absolutely quiet for that one song decided by the artist to be "The Silent Song". Bars shut, waiters directed to stop serving and everyone is requested to politely take their conversations outside or stay absolutely silent during this song. Their intention, as they explain is to see the song from the perspective of the artist. And most of the time, it turns out to be the most special part of the set. And to me it was indeed. I decided to do this cover of Jason Mraz for it. I knew it was going to be an intense experience to have a packed house huddled in silence but didn't exactly expect myself choking up. But anyways, I thought I'll share it to those who would wander on here Hope you guys are doing well! Cheers and thank you. P.S John and I have been working on some really exciting stuff for Songstuff. And we're looking forward to making this place much bigger and better. So to reduce the need to create another topic for this, I just wanted to say - thank you! For sticking around and making this place what it is. Can't wait for some upgrades.
  8. Sorry that I didn't catch this earlier. I'm not sure whether you asked about the daily time it takes for a singer to warm up and get it to performance level singing? If you did, it pretty much depends. On the vocal health, how much rest you've given yourself the previous night, how hydrated you are/were. In my case, I do 15-20 minutes of breathing exercises first and a few stretches. And then do 30 minutes of vocal exercises (that I have experimented and decided on and found to be effective for me) over different scales. That pretty much does it every time. I feel absolutely good to go. If I still feel on rare occasions that it's not there yet, I do another round of lip rolls and that does the trick. Now on the other hand, if you were asking about how long it will take with daily practice each day to GET to a good point in being able to sing (whatever that maybe as decided by you), it depends. And that's my answer for your other question regarding multi-tasking too. Depends on how well you take care of your vocal health (or have the stamina and immunity to indulge yourself in the so called 'bad things' but this is never the approach to good vocal health. I say it with experience). Depends how well you're able to associate sensations in your body to the skill of singing itself. It's important to build good muscle memory right from the start when it comes to singing. And mindful vocal practice helps you be on your way. It also makes you more aware of any tension in your body and back off when needed. All these things are subtle in nature but extremely useful (and simple if you put your mind to it). So in such a case, being able to put some time and a place aside for your practice sessions work wonders! You might see yourself with ample but definite sessions each day working wonders for you. If you are multi-tasking, that may vary. Having said that, it doesn't mean you can't multi task and practice, especially when you've gotten to a point that you have good muscle memory of good vocal techniques. It's like you've learnt to ride the bicycle but you wake up every day, put some music on (my example of multi-tasking lol seemed appropriate) and you practice to get better. You're STILL practicing with a goal to get better but your brain and your body has built the muscle memory enough to know how to ride the bicycle while multi-tasking. Does that make sense? I find myself doing lip rolls without even realising sometimes - on the streets, in a cab and I will confess with a disclaimer that it was just once - in a public bathroom. lol EDIT: I wanted to add something that I swear heard it somewhere - Practice doesn't make one perfect, practicing perfectly makes one perfect. And that should be your focus regardless of how much time you have. Keep the exercises simple and practice being able to do those simple exercises PERFECTLY (because you know, it's a simple one we've picked). When you've nailed it down, make the exercise the TEENIEST bit more difficult. (For singers, it might be the note we are hitting. For a guitar player, it might be increasing the tempo on the metronome by 1-2 bpm, whatever it is). So tiny that you may not even notice. But your body will. Your vocal cords will. They will use the experience of the muscle memory from the previous exercise and try to accommodate in this new case, given that it would be a relatively easier task for it. And that will improve your skill by that tiny bit. After that you simply rinse and repeat! Anyways, all good stuff! Mahesh
  9. That's an interesting introduction. High school ain't ever was easy. Welcome!
  10. That's very kind of you. Thanks Rudi!
  11. 1234 \ Plain White T's This used to go around the radio quite a lot back then.
  12. Aww, thanks Jenn! It was indeed for me too. Some gigs just go great and this was one of those. There's not many venues here that go well with singer songwriters down here. And it does make things easier when the whole audience is tuning in. This was one of those.
  13. Thanks Peggy! Yup, the silent song indeed is a cool idea!
  14. Going with the flow. Ah, I wish I could run my life like you write your lyrics. Welcome aboard Phil!
  15. Oh yes, I've seen this happen way too much! I'm sure there are a lot of scrawlers on the web (a bot going from site to site, maybe in this case it is something that goes through youtube vids too maybe) that filter videos out based on trending keywords and what not. Once the link is available, it is an easy one to make it available for download (illegally of course). In this day and age, it's a click away for you to find ways to download a video off of youtube, facebook, soundcloud etc with a single click. No wonder Prince hated it. lol
  16. Oh yes, I was a huge fan of Reaper back when I had a Windows system. ( With a MacBook now, I've moved to Logic Pro X ) Reaper is a really good DAW in my opinion. It is light-weight, comes with a bundle of stock plugins that work well for home recordings, especially while starting out (though some professionals prefer it as well), handles a good amount of VSTS (also depending on the specs your system has) and it is either free or nominally priced. (They have a 60 day evaluation period after which it continues to work with a nag screen which is a microscopic price to pay for being able to use it). I recommend it always to those seeking any advice from me back at home. Glad to see you making progress bud! Hope the journey is looking good. Cheers
  17. I recently started a Youtube Vlog series called Mahesh Music Diaries to simply express all the things that goes on in my day to day life as a singer songwriter. I thought it'd be a great thing for the humble audience I am fortunate to have back home. But also, it is a great exercise to see yourself from third person and be able to mould yourself into a better and wiser person. And also, it's fun! This is one question that has been asked way too many times in my short career than I can remember. It seems fair that the first reaction to a singer-songwriter with mostly sad music is to think that he’s pretty much a sad sod with nothing else to talk about. But is it really accurate? I wanted to answer this question on my vlog and that’s what I wanted to share with you here today. P.S I use profanity. P.P.S It's meant to be a light-hearted and casual account of my every day life. P.P.P.S If you subscribe, I'll show you India like you've never seen before. Okay, I admit the last one was a sly attempt. Never mind
  18. Here's something of a tribute to John and Songstuff who've helped me in becoming the musician I am today. The other day, I was having those routine meetings with John that's been going on for 6 years ( besides the fact that every one of them feel like so lol ) talking about my career, the upcoming gigs, EP plans and of course the Songstuff stuff as well. And I realised how normal it has become for me that a Scottish man who I've never even met has become a super important part of my every day life. So I thought it'd be something interesting to talk about in a vlog.
  19. I recently started a Youtube Vlog series called Mahesh Music Diaries to simply express all the things that goes on in my day to day life as a singer songwriter. I thought it'd be a great thing for the humble audience I am fortunate to have back home. But also, it is a great exercise to see yourself from third person and be able to mould yourself into a better and wiser person. And also, it's fun! This is one question that has been asked way too many times in my short career than I can remember. It seems fair that the first reaction to a singer-songwriter with mostly sad music is to think that he’s pretty much a sad sod with nothing else to talk about. But is it really accurate? I wanted to answer this question on my vlog and that’s what I wanted to share with you here today.
  20. lol of "quotes" there Mike Personally, I've not let the audience or my need to present something in a certain way "externally" define what I should write about. It's always been with me and myself in the room when I'm writing it. That's not just physically. lol I believe musicians don't necessarily need to figure out what "lots of people can identify with" (unless they want to as a business strategy and make some money, whatever music pays at least lol) and should rather work on figuring out what they identify with themselves. The world is a small place and I'm sure there will always be some common grounds where people will relate. And that is a good seg way to what Tim is talking about. A lot of people do not identify with sadness even when they deal with things associated with it all the time. Their minds keep avoiding it like it's a disease to even accept it and understand that it's a part of life. Which is something that really messes with people's heads. I know it did to me and lord knows I know people who do it to this day. I was talking about this on Jenn's topic regarding confidence. Acceptance is the greatest friend. You will never be able to get out of it unless you see where you stand. And that needs acceptance. Regarding your description about HSP, yup. That sounds like me alright lol
  21. It's absolutely beautiful. Bangalore is one of the biggest IT hubs in the world. The traffic is intense throughout the day, we have record high temperatures for what was once proudly called The Garden City of India and the pollution, disgusting. So it was really a welcoming surprise when I found out about this forest reserve protected by the State. It's a wonderful detox opportunity especially when I live such an erratic life being a musician. I love it!
  22. Jenn, Leo is true about acceptance. As soon as the awareness and understanding lands on the fact that at the point of the performance, what you've got is what the people will get, the nervousness wouldn't even matter anymore! I'm not saying that it's easy. Even to this day, I get nervous too until the first step I take on that stage. Then I just go into a state of mind where it goes "this is it, there's no point worrying about it now, I might as well have a good time while I'm at it." I find a sense of freedom being on stage. To say what I want, express what I want and for that very same "spiritual" point you made, I realize that what people will say doesn't matter anymore. And what I SAY and express does. Whether it sounds good or not. It doesn't come by telling yourself that. It comes by UNDERSTANDING & REALIZING IT enough to not be bothered by anything else. I'm not saying it's easy or difficult, but it's something you can build on by setting up that state of mind before every gig and then learning from the experience.
  23. Proper breathing techniques and breathing application really is pretty much the corner stone when it comes to good singing. You can have the best "vocal" technique (as in the way you use your vocal cords) but that'll never come close to how much better it'll be with proper breathing. Some call it diaphragmatic breathing, singing from your stomach or gut - they mean the same thing. When you breathe in, the diaphragm contracts and "pushes itself down" so as to create more cavity/space in your lungs for that healthy dosage of air to fill in so that you can use it well in your singing. In short, when you breathe in, your tummy bulges itself out. When you breathe out, the diaphragm expands and helps in pushing the air out of your lungs. So while exhaling, your tummy goes back in. Now if your breathing exercises and practice sessions have been on the right path, you can actually build control over this mechanism to smartly utilize the air while singing and thus helping in consistency. This is so paramount when you have to sing for long periods of time. Of course it's not all breathing. Paired with good breathing technique, if your vocal technique is good in terms of how well you use your chest, mixed and head voice and how you control your tone, your singing is just going to be a much more enjoyable experience. John and I have been discussing over a fresh new batch of video content for our community to use and benefit. I'll be sure to look into getting some breathing exercises and more vocal related videos into it.
  24. Valhalla for life! <3 Been using it for years and have not come across another one which I like as much.
  25. Frequently, it so happens that when you are rehearsing, you can deliver the songs much more genuinely with respect to emotions as compared to while performing the set itself. Being a songwriter and doing more of solo performances, this aspect is very important to me. Naturally, because of a lot more happening during the actual performance, it brings your focus down from the content of the song, even if very little. What do you do to keep your emotions up while performing?